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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  December 15, 2009 7:00am-10:00am EST

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host: the senate health care bill is unlikely to include medicare buy-in. democrats continued to negotiate with themselves on a public option. what are your thoughts? democrats dropping a provision to extend medicare.
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you can send us a tweet @cspan wj. we will talk to our guests in just a minute to get an update on what is the one on with the senate health care bill. first, let me show you the havilland aryan "the washington post."
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that tis "the washington post" from this morning. theorist's senator harry reid yesterday. >> remember, this bill saves lives, saves money, and saves medicare. we still await word from the now famous it congressional budget office to find of what they will do with the manager's amendment.
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i'm confident the cbo, the provision in the amendment will make are built stronger. we have been careful not talking about the specifics in the managers package for reasons that are obvious. the cdo handles this just the right way -- the cbo handles this in the right way. we hope we will be able to deliver good news to the american people, and we passed a pro consumer pro patient bill. host: more from "the washington post."
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host: and senator brown told reporters -- i want to see health care reform. . your thoughts this morning. hollywood, fla., what do is think of the latest on the negotiations? caller: i am absolutely opposed. i think it is capitulation. i think it is false bravado on the part of the democrats. they failed miserably. i studied in europe many years ago. in t envied their health-care
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system 40 years ago. we probably have one of the worst health care systems in the world. i did it is a tragedy. -- i think it is a tragedy. i think this is a disaster. the republicans are probably celebrating. they have brought down a president who have all the capital in the world. i think it is a tragedy. host: north adams, mass., wrrick on the independent line. what are your thoughts? caller: good morning. i hope not. are really do. host: why? caller: i am 59, but i am
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disabled. i have had parkinson's. that is the only thing that is keeping me from bankruptcy. host: charleston, indiana on the democrats line. caller: good morning. i am so angry about this. i do not understand how anyone who is a christian can be opposed to health care for everyone. i do not know. i agree totally with the first guy. host: more headlines. here is "the hill." the headline in "roll call"this morning.
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"politico" this morning. the next phone call comes from florida. robert on the republican line. caller: in calling about the bill on medicare. it is a waste of money. it is unconstitutional. the democrats ought to be ashamed of themselves. it will not work. it is a disaster. host: trenton, new jersey, independent line. caller: i have two things to say about this health-care thing. i do not think we will ever get a bill of health care program in america. everybody is all about themselves. democrats have 60 people and the
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senate and they cannot give the health care bill done. it is a tragedy. host: let's hear from a republican. tennis in new orleans -- kenneth in new orleans. caller: in the democrats. i'm disappointed that the joe lieberman was campaigning with mccain. he should have been dismissed move d republicans than. i am the person who wants the public option we did not get that. now we're in a bad situation with joseph lieberman being a stick in the mode. in my opinion, he is not even worthy of watering the plants on capitol hill. host: you may be interested in
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the front page of "the new york times" this morning. host: merrill lyrhonda of the '' line. caller: i want to remind people of one thing. there are americans who work every day who cannot afford health care. there are small businesses that cannot afford to give their
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employees health care. all of this discussion between the egotistical politics that's going on -- i would like both republicans and democrats to remember that they're there to serve the american people. in the people who are the most vulnerable who do not have the lobbyists, the insurance companies, and the pharmaceutical companies to donate money to influence this legislation. they are the ones that need our politicians to speak out and protect more. and i want them to. remember, senator edward kennedy's passion about this
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issue, and to somehow find it within themselves to pull the spirits, especially during this holiday season when there are a lot of people who were suffering and hungry and try to take care of the families who do not have health care. it is a shame that in this country that people do not have health care. not everyone who does not have health care is this view of taking something from the government. there are people who work every day who cannot afford to give their employees health care, or even by health care themselves. there needs to be a reasonable option for people. this is not america. host: orange park, fla., on the independent line. caller: good morning.
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the last caller really hit the nail on the head. i am really disgusted with the democrats. i expect this from the republicans. i left the democratic party many years ago because a have shown themselves to be spineless. the reason they have a majority right now is because we did not like what is going on in our country. they made promises they were not able to keep. host: useless from a democrat to an independent a long time ago -- you switched from democrat to an independent a long time ago. did you vote for republicans? caller: i have always leaned more to democratic principles because the democratic principles are supposed to take into account more heavily the
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needs of the people over corporations and special- interest. as an african-american woman, i felt as though the democrats were taking my vote for granted. i do not like that. i consider myself a fair minded person. i wanted to look of the issues individually. this is why i came up with being an independent. to senator harry reid, you, baucus, nelson, a glablanche, al of you made this thing a mockery -- when election time comes next year, i challenge every democrat and every republican who has a stake in
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knowing that what happens to me happens to you. let them know we will vote them out next year. host: republican line, west haven, conn.. your thoughts on your senator, senator joseph lieberman. caller: i believe it is a no- brainer. hats off to joe lieberman. i feel so opposed to this that i cannot even believe we are discussing this. host: some have speculated that senator lieberman is doing this, saying he opposes an extension of medicare, because he is trying to get republican votes in connecticut's. do you think that will work? caller: i really do not know. it just seems ridiculous to even discuss the situation. host: ron, will you vote for
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senator lieberman? caller: no. host: indiana on the democrats won. caller: there are three things wrong with this country right now, the gop, joe lieberman, and wheimpy democrats. the people are for it. everyone wants it. i'm a senior citizen. i do not know about the people around here. they are mostly republicans, but the country as a whole is for this thing. they need the leadership to get the thing through. host: in "the washington post" this morning --
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host: the senate is expected to vote on that amendment today. we'll be talking to senator byron dorgan later this morning. chuck on the into the li indepe. caller: we needed was outside of the democratic and republican parties. big business does not want us to have health care. host: hunts wigood morning. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. i would like to lead the american people know some information that liberal democrats will not state. you said something about if this health care is not passed that
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millions of people will die because of. they do not bother to tell you that if they pass this bill, millions of babies will be aborted on your tax dollars. been millions of old people will die because they will take the money from the people who need it who are retired and who are on medicare and medicaid. host: on the debt limit this morning from "the washington post"
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caller: good morning. if we would hear the tapes of senator obama, i heard three or four different times when he was running for senator that he was for the national health care plan. now when he gets into the white house, he capitulates with the finances. he capitulated with the insurance companies. i listened to all of those hearings where kennedy and the rest of those senators questioned the ceo's about how is it that they can have so much money in, the claims they denied. people voiced their opinions.
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president obama is responsible for this because the nation swept him into office on all of his promises. if he would stick with his promises, the american people would back him. the republicans and democrats now would not have had the nerve to say anything if he would have stood by what he promised the american people. it is all documented. host: richard on the independent line. good morning. caller: 85% of the people in the country have insured health care. 65% of the people in a country that have health care are satisfied with that. over 60% of the population of our country are against this bill. host: richard, where are you getting these numbers? caller: the numbers are all over the place. i get some of them from c-span, some of them from your show,
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some of them out of the paper. any bill that has 2500 pages to give you health care has a whole lot of stuff in there besides health care. a lot of taxes. yes, they are going to pay for abortion. it will have death penaltanels. yes, they will treat the illegals. this is about congress getting control of the economy. they really want to put a health-care bill into place, they would get out of the way in opening up for the free market. get the government in the insurance companies and give the individual patient and the health care service negotiate between them. host: which bill are you talking about? caller: there has been so many
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of them. i have 3200. the one that is being discussed in the senate right now. host: the house passed a bill. the senate is still negotiating. the two bodies have to get together and come up with a compromise proposal. in other news this morning, in copenhagen, here is the front page of usa today. it says tha-- host: also, out of in the worlds section of "the financial times."
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host: arkansas, charles on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. it is easy to be a democrat these days, like byron dorgan. mr. lieberman has stepped up. it takes more guts to lieberman.
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it is easy to satisfy the give- me people. they do not care about their children and their grandchildren. they do not care about the cost of all these things. as far as the entire congress, and the gentleman we have as president, they will do anything for a vote. they basically do not care about the people. they will do anything that the people ask them to do. host: janet on the democrats' line. caller: is always difficult to get on line. i really hate that i am wasting an opportunity to talk. i have to say one thing for my state. i'm ashamed that joe lieberman represents my state.
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i am disgusted with him. that is basically all i wanted to say. host: what do think will happen in the next election? caller: i cannot wait. i hope he gets thrown out of office. i am totally disgusted with him. i do not know what his motives are. in a preschool teacher. i have seen so much antics in the congress that it reminds me of the kids in my class. i cannot believe the backstabbing in the getting even. i hope we throw them all of the office and start fresh again. i am totally ashamed of the man. that's about all i wanted to say. host: north carolina on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. you all do a good job. i want to mention that i'm a senior. i have been self-employed and i have had employees.
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what i see in the people and friends around theme is that the majority are against this health care program. if you had a sprawling building, and there were issues on one end of the building, why would you tear the whole thing down than addressing those specific issues? the congressman have the ability to address the specific issues. i have raised five kids over 41 years. most of that time i had no insurance. i managed to carry the broken elbows and broken arms on my own. why tear the holding apartme whn it is not a total across-the- board problem?
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host: front page of "chicago tribune" on gitmo -- also this morning in the money section of usa today -- citibank and wells fargo announced plans to repay the bailout funds.
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host: that is the headline this morning in many of the papers this morning about president obama's meeting with bank ceo's. also, aig confident of repa ying aid. joining us on the phone right now is the managing editor of cq. we have been getting our viewers' reactions. give us the back story. guest: harry reid, the democratic leader in the senate, has tried to shop proposals to deficit. both said he needs. he tried two plans to incorporate this health bill that they're considering th.
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he found a note that he did not have the 60 votes for either of these. at a meeting yesterday afternoon, they came to that realization. now they will have to come up with yet another compromise. they're going to the white house to talk to president obama. host: says in the newspapers that senator joe lieberman will be at the white house meeting. guest: he threatened to filibuster any bill that had a public plan. he announced figures opposition to the medicare expansion. they were trying to nullify the liberal wing of the democratic party by trying a much expanded government role. neither of those wash with the most conservative members of
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congress. if they hope to get them, and maybe pick up a republican like olympia snowe, they have to try again with may be a trigger approach. host: what will happen on the senate floor today? what is the issue of the day? guest: they're still trying to get unanimous consent on a variety of options. senator dorgan has been pushing an amendment that would make it easier for consumers to bring prescription drugs in from other countries. they often sell for less than the of united states. republicans have not agreed on a process to go forward. and while they wait for the congressional budget office score. host: thank you for your time this morning. guest: thank you.
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host: coming up, we will talk with beth chappell, president and ceo detroit economic club. she was in washington yesterday along with ford momotor co. chairman bill ford to deliver a to do list for america's economy to the administration. we will talk to her about that ♪ >> as senators debate the health care bill, there are a number of issues to work out, including medicare, abortion, prescription drugs, and the public option as the congressional budget office puts a price tag on the revised proposal. live onc-span2.
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also, the updates from reporters. for iphone users, you can hear the debate with a new iphone c- span app. >> there's just about one month left to enter the 2010 s student cam contest. the top prize is $5,000. just create a five minute to 8 minute video. it must incorporate the c-span programming and show varying points of view. do not wait another minute. host: beth chappell, president and ceo detroit economic club. your group held a national summit last summer where you have government officials and ceo"bjj come together and talk
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about aid to do list for the american economy. at that summit, commerce secretary gary locke was there. what happened in this meeting? what is in this list? what was the reaction from the secretary? guest: we hosted a national summit last june. we had 101 of our country's leaders. ceo's from all industries and disciplines. we put a process in place. we had 30 sessions. we were trying to aggravate the voices of america's leadership. as a result of that, we took all of these inputs and aggregated it into what we're calling america's to do list. we did meet with secretary gary locke yesterday.
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basically, the list is 10 priorities that was agreed to. basically, we came up with areas that we believe that we need to have certainty in in the future. collaborative strategy was probably the biggest one. we need to start working together with business and government aligned in the same direction so we can have certainty. we're one of the few countries in the world that does not have a manufacturing strategy. how can that be? we do not have an energy policy. business is crying out for certainty. public-private collaboration, certainty in terms of energy policy, manufacturing policy.
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throughout the three days, even though we were talking about technology, energy, environment, and manufacturing, what came up çóover and over was education ad talents. it's all about our work force. science, technology, energy, and math. we need to invest in our human capital, or we will be left behind. the third thing that came out was infrastructure. we really need to invest in our infrastructure in this country. host: what was the reaction from secretary gary locke? guest: he was great. he and his staff have reviewed this. i need to be clear. ñiit's not just the top and priorities. behind this work, there's volumes of the information that lead up to this list. secretary gary locke embraced the list.
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he told us he would be taking it to president obama and vice president joe biden. this is an opportunity. we started this process three years ago. at the time we started this, michigan was in a one-state recession. we really felt that it was not about michigan, but it was about leadership coming together in the early months of a new presidentialçó administration ia way to be helpful. that is what we have done. we have an opportunity to go back to artourñi speakers, moderator's, and participantsçó. we are unveiling the findingsñrs we speak. secretary gary locke is taking them to go administration. in the early months of 2010, we will figure out where we go from here. host: what does the secretary
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tell you about the administration's efforts going forward? guest: he said that the list was very aligned with president obama's priorities. health care is certainly front and center these days, and manufacturing is very important. we're all very pleased that this administration is embracing the notion of manufacturing. host: let's dig a little bit deeper into some of these. when it comes to infrastructure, what sort of infrastructure did the participants look at? guest: the findings were to upgrade our highway systems, bridges, roads, and that sort of thing. also, a lot of discussion about smart grid.
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not just conservation of energy, but we need to start blowing out the smart grid. finally, there was a lot of discussion about infrastructure for transportation. we are going to electrify our vehicles, we really need the infrastructure to do that. host: what type of infrastructure do you need in place? guest: i do not know all the technical details, but if you look 10 years down the road and believe we are on the way to electrifying our vehicles, we will have to have the right infrastructure to support that. we'll infrastructure -- where do you recharge? host: so people have an understanding of where you come from, described the detroit economic club. guest: we are celebrating our
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75th year. the detroit economic club has been a non-partisan, not-for- profitñr platform of the great issues of our day. several times thought we host server -- times a year, we host american leaders. we took our mission and super sized id for this event. i would like to mention that are cochairs had the vision behind this. bill ford was one of the early thinkers of this. he is also the chair of the board of the detroit economic club. and deliverew liveris has been . it has been a privilege to work with these two gentlemen.
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host: withe the detroit economic club? what is the relationship between detroit and washington, d.c.? guest: we have been around for 75 years, and have always said a close relationship with washington. back in the day, our speakers with ride the train from washington, come to detroit over the weekend, speaking at the club on monday, and then drive back. we have a long relationship. we started this three years ago. michigan was in a one-day recession. we did not know what was to come in the ensuing years, but we knew we needed to do something. and we brought leaders together. by the way, we did not know who the president would be when we started this.
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it looked like hillary clinton would be the democratic nominee. it is really about bringing people together with our mission in a bipartisan, not for profit way. we ask everybody to put their industry silos in their partisan politics in their pockets for three days to really focus on our kids and grandkids. these issues are not sound bite issues. they're not into to understand in a three-second sound bite. host: you have had president's speech before the detroit economic club ever since richard nixon. guest: we have had the privilege of hosting every president since richard nixon. we look forward to president obama being at the detroit economic club. caller: i like your club. if we continue to be strictly
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democrats, republicans, independents, we are not going to get the infrastructure jobs. it will go to people in other countries. i am a health professional and my husband is a health professional. we have health insurance, however, our son is very sick. he has a severe allergy to milk. the doctor prescribed a specific, expensive formula. the insurance companies refused to pay for it. as americans, we have to put aside our petty this and get together proper -- if we had your club nationally, it would be great. thank you. host: she touched on health care. you said at the beginning of this the businesses want certainty. in the health-care debate that is happening now, what do
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businesses say about health care? guest: we have had several speakers on health care this season. people are all over on this. obviously, what we've seen in the last couple of months in washington. health care is no different than anything else. we do need certainty. the cost to businesses -- whatever the solution is -- will impact upon the people have jobs, and what the economy looks like. it is all interrelated. whatever the solution is -- i think health care is no different than any of the other issues. uncertainty is very important. host: jackie on the independent line host: good morning. caller: good morning. for 30 years, we have been told
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that our health care costs are too high, that our wages were too high, and our kids were not educated enough to keep the jobs in the united states. there outsourced all of our manufacturing jobs to china, india, and mexico. now thise slugs in the house and senate cannot get together on health care. our kids are still not educated. we cannot afford to edge to give our kids because there are no jobs for people afford to send their kids to college. we're in a no-win situation in this country. we have a congress that no
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intention of rising this country up. host: thank you. beth chappell, she talked about manufacturing. that is one of the points on this to-do list. detroit economic club brought up re-branding. what does that mean? guest: people have strong opinions about manufacturing. a lot of manufacturing jobs have gone offshore. there's no question about that. if we are going to thrive as a country, there's never been a civilization since the beginning of time that has thrived without making things. we have an opportunity and we must take this opportunity to reinvent manufacturing. it has gotten a bad reputation over the years.
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almost anywhere in this country, it is a completely different environment than when i was a kid. they are great jobs. they are technical jobs. there's a strong push on the part of manufacturers to want to read brand manufacturing to be something that would be much more attractive to our kids going to school. they're not the same manufacturing jobs. host: if that is the case, what type of education do kids need if they are going into a manufacturing field? c guest: two of the areas in americus to-do list wrorevolve around education. science, technology, engineering, and bath. for our kids, not only do we have to emphasize that, we need
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to make those exciting careers. for people who are out of jobs, we need to have the same opportunity to retrain people. host: are you asking the federal government to have grants and subsidies for those who want to go into manufacturing? guest: absolutely. it is a great opportunity for all of us. host: ellen in ohio on the republican line. caller: good morning. i live in a very economically depressed area. i agree with you about the restoration of manufacturing in the u.s.
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you cannot find things that are made in america hardly any more. it's wonderful that you have this economic club to get people together and discuss this. in northeast ohio, we are trying to do some alternate energy source things. we have some creative thinkers batter trying to get some alternate energy sources, it into the creegrid. we have got to be progressive and get manufacturing restarted. your ideas about building an infrastructure for electric cars and that kind of thing -- that sounds wonderful. i really appreciate your vision. guest: that is our opportunity. we have an opportunity in this country to create all kinds of
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new wonderful jobs. not just manufacturing jobs. if we were gone are infrastructure, if we emphasize science, technology, engineering, and math, if we are going to embrace alternative energy as an opportunity to transform this country, those all require unique skill sets, and the all trtransform to jobs. host: will the detroit economic club be involved in the next of staff of administration takes? guest: we're working that out right now. this has been a three-year labor of love. the idea of 45 hours and hundreds of voices to come up with this list. secretary gary locke embraced this and went back to a administration. we are doing the same thing. we will go back to our
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stakeholders. we will bring the parties together and to the first of the year. host: buwho are some of the ce'? guest: we had the ceo of conocophillips, steve ballmer from microsoft, discardups, fed, ibm -- just named the big companies. it was an impressive list of people. it was not just ceo's. we also that several senior government officials from the obama administration. host: democrats line, good morning. caller: good morning. the last couple of callers have touched on our lack of
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manufacturing in this country. i would like to expound on that. i believe that the manufacturers have pretty much sold out the american workers in favor of corporate profits. i think that there are ways that we can level the playing field to some degree. a few years ago, as a nation, we were very concerned about the safety of things imported in these big containers. that has kind of fallen off the radar now. when people stop reporting on something, people forget. things are still being imported. the containers are still coming in huge numbers. that is a security problem. that is a security issue. it is my belief that if the importers that are bringing these shipping containers into this country had to pay a fairly hefty fee to have them
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thoroughly inspected so we would truly be safe, then they made rather hire american workers to manufacture the prof monthproducts, rather than pay surtaxes and security fees for circumventing the manufacturing process. host: beth chappell? guest: i agree with the caller. it is kind of off the radar. the issue is still not there. the safety of goods coming into the country is very important. it is understandable that people would feel that over the years that we take a lot of things off shore as a country. we have certainly done that. in this new global economy, prosperity should not be a zero sum game. we want world to prosper.
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we want america to prosper even more. we want to understand what is coming into our ports. that's a huge issue. at the same time, we need to be mindful that you do not manufacture cars halfway across the world for you to drive in washington, d.c.. there are parts and there are things that can be manufactured offshore. if we are more competitive in this country, then that helps us a lot. we do not have a manufacturing policy in this country. as americans, we need to understand that every other country does. host: what kind of manufacturing policy with the detroit economic club wants to see? guest: we would like to see certainty. again, whether it is energy or manufacturing, whatever the
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policy is. for example, we would like to see a clear carbon policy, whatever it is. you figure out what that carbon policy is, and businesses will march to it. i'm confident we can do that. when we are in a global economy and governments are partnering with their businesses to make the conditions prime for investment, how do you compete? host: pittsburgh, independent line, good morning. caller: i heard beth chappell say that obama would attend one of the meetings. guest: i hope. caller: he has made all kinds of promises, and he has not kept one that he has made 31 was that he would not allow manufacturing
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companies to leave at the taxpayers' expense. since then, we have had a place in indiana -- whirpool, international paper, enand hersy chocolate is going to mexico. he could have stopped this. he has the power to do that. he has the congress to say stmae it harder for them to leave. it is nothing but these people are bought off by the same people. they tell you lives. he is in a t-shirt -- he is an empty. he does not know what is going on. you have all this talk about how
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reinventing manufacturing will do all these great things, but it will not come back until we put the right people in office, and not these lawiars. guest: i live in michigan. i do agree. i agree that we as a country need to come together and figure out what we want our manufacturing base to look like. manufacturing is not ever going to be the way it was. the technology has changed. michigan is a much different place. since the year 2000, michigan has lost half of the jobs that have been lost in the country. we understand how devastating this can be. that said, of course we need the right people in office. of course we need our president and congress to work together. we also have a responsibility as citizens and business people to
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move this fall for word. we cannot wait. host: does that mean -- bill ford, yesterday in the meeting, and the dow chemical president asked the administration to allow them and other ceo's to be part of the conversation? guest: we would like more collaboration. though detroit economic club will not be the organization that leaves the country. our role, and i believe our role going forward will be a platform for nonpartisan debate and discussion. we have got to debate these things. we have got to have our voices heard. what we did through this process was just that. that was the goal, to activate the voices of business in a way that we could provide helpful input to the administration. ghost: one more phone call. caller: good morning.
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i'm just about 10 miles from detroit. i am sure she is fully aware how decrepit and have run down all the manufacturing and industry has vanished from our area. new like to speak about reinventing manufacturing. it is more or less reprogramming for this green agenda and everything that is going on for the global government, which is only going to make everything so much worse. if people would look what is in that copenhagen treaty, and if obama signs on to that, it will damage the country more because there's not a enough money that will be there. the only money that will go to anybody will be the liars like
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al gore. people will not win on this. you can go on the internet and see how decrepit the industriay is. guest: there's no question we are ground zero of the economy. a lot of those manufacturing jobs will not come back. i will use michigan as an example. our governor is very focused in the new energy space. when you have empty factories, very often light industry follows heavy industry. it's not a pretty picture in the short term, but we can not be happy about it, or we can try to do something about it. in michigan, we are trying to attract investment from wherever it will come. we have the infrastructure. we have talent. we have engineering talent. a little-known fact is not only do we have manufacturing
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infrastructure, but most of the global automotive companies have their tactical headquarters in michigan. it's not just about manufacturing jobs. it comes folds orfull circle. china and india are graduating 300,000 engineers per year each. we're barely scratching the surface of 100,000. if our children are going to live in eight very different world, and we have got to do everything to make them ready for that. host: beth chappell, thank you for your time this morning. coming up, we will talk to the author of an amendment, senator byron dorgan. it has garnered this headline in "the washington post" this morning. a first, an update from c-span radio.
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>> president obama visits a home depot this morning to talk about making homes more energy efficient. then he returns to the white house to lunch with business leaders. .
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when it went off near the home of a politician. blasts 3w4r5eu78d on militants have killed more than 500 people since october. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> as senators debate the bill, there's still a number of bills to work out. including abortion, health care as the congressional office puts a price tag on the revised proposal. with late nights and possibly another weekend session live on our network c-span 2 the only norke cover the house gavel-to-gavel. and you can hear it with the new iphone a. ap.
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"washington journal" continues. host: senator byron dorgan from north dakota it says debates have stalled partly in an amendment that you offered to allow cheaper drugs to be imported from canada. what is the status of your amendment? will it be voted on? >> well, it is going on seven days but appears it will get a vote today. it's not just cheaper drugs but identical drugs sold in every other country for a fraction of the price it's sold to americans. you know, if this is a global economy how about giving the american people the freedom to access the identical drug, same pill put in the same bottle, fda-approved. the difference, american people get to pay two to three times
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the cost most other people in the world pay. i think it's unfair and they ought to be able to access these drugs from other countries. >> when he was running for president did you talk to him about these negotiation it's? and if so what did he tell you? >> yes. he was the co-sponsor of my legislation. my legislation has 30 co-responsers ranging from the late ted kennedy to john mccain. it's bipartisan and yet it's been very difficult for us to get a vote. the pharmaceutical industry has made some sort of deal going into health care, and this debate over health care had some kind of pharmaceutical rangment arangment and now
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we're told if you pass this legislation that would save about $100 billion over 10 years, save the consumers about $80 billion, the federal government $19 billion, if you pass this deal somehow it will interrupt the arangment or deal somebody had with the pharmaceutical company. but you know i wasn't part of that deal and -- host: what does the president say about this? guest: i have talked to some at the white house and they have indicated there's no deal by which they would oppose this. and i happen to know there's been a lot of work being done to try to strip people who previously supported the amendment off the amendment so we'll see what happens. host: how are they striping the support? guest: saying to people if you pass the dorgan drug amendment
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it will injury the ability to do health care. it's always this way with every piece of legislation. it's the loose lead the of a cheap suit, pull the lead the and the arm falls off so you can't possibly support the amendment. i think we have the votes. my hope is although the pharmaceutical industry has a lot of clout and support in the united states senate, my hope is the american people have a lot of clout as well and we pass the amendment. >> if you don't get this passed, what happens to your support for the final legislation? >> well, we'll see. guest: i'm going to look at the legislation. the legislation on the health care reform isn't complete. we've been working and working, and at the end of the day i'll look and see what is it that advances the country's interest. no question we need to do it but at the end of the day i'll take a look at it and make a adjustment jufment.
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host: if your vote gets amendment gets the vote what follows? >> it's the dorgan-snow amendment. there would probably be in order a lautenberg amendment which is essentially a nullification amendment but the reason it's offered on the behalf of the pharmaceutical industry is to nullify the ability for the american people to import the drugs that are fda approved at a fraction of the price. host: the papers this morning talk about not just the pharmaceutical companies but hospitals, insurers as this bill is being debated, what are you seeing in the hallways in the senate office buildings and behind closed doors as far as the lobbying bps? >> well, the lobbying is furious. the earth on prescription drugs by the pharmaceutical company
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to derail this. you don't see that sort of thing out in the open too much but it's contacts to make sure they range their support to nullify my ability to get this passed. look, there's a lot at stake here. this issue is $100 billion over the next ten years. the pharmaceutical industry this year sold about $290 billion worth of goods. brand name, about 80% of that and by the way brand name drugs increased in proceeds nine times and generics decreased in price about 9% so the pharmaceutical company is pushing hard to keep this sweetheart deal. it's outrageous. why should the american people be paying so much more for the identical drug. give the american people the benefit of the demobal economy. we're able to ship american jobs overseas and import contaminated pet food and
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toothpaste, you name it, toys that kill children, well, what about giving the american people the opportunity to reimport an fda-approved drug that comes only from countries that have the identical chain of custody we have? give the american people the freedom to do to do that. host: lisa you're on the democrat line with senator dorgan. caller: yes. i wanted to ask senator dorgan how he rates the job the senate has been doing on this health care bill. i this it's terrible. you finally broke my back. i'm telling you. i can't believe it. you're staking everything on everybody paying into the insurance companies. that's the only thing everybody is sure needs to be done. this is terrible. host: all right. how would you rate the debate? guest: i don't think you give a grade until it's over. it's not done.
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we're in the final hours, but there's a lot left to do and then let's make a judgment is this something that advances the country's interest or not? if we do nothing, is this system working? in come ways but in other ways not at all. so it's 75,000 to 100,000 deaths per year for mistakes while people are in hospitals. 45 million people who don't have health insurance. it's costs rising. the question is not weather you do something. it's what do you do that fixes all of this? >> gary on the independent line. caller: yes. i'd like to say i agree with your bill but i think we're going to have a big problem in that barack obama has already made a del with the drug manufacturers in this country to timeline pockets of the health care insurance. how are you doing to get past
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the president where the deal has already been made with the drug manufacturers that are in control of this debate anyway. >> yeah. guest: well, i haven't been part of this deal. i didn't make any deal with anybody. i've got one hour. if what i think is going to happen today happens on the noor of the united states senate, i have one hour for that debate and i intend to make good use of that hour and all you can do is fight the right fights here, but i will be pretty disappointed if when we talk about health care reform if the pharmaceutical industry can jack up the price of their drugs 9% this year alone. 97 this year alone, and you know, these votes in the united states senate would say well, that's ok. that's fine. we're not going to do anything to address the cost of drugs. that's not health care reform if you leave out the cost of drugs.
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how about giving the american people the freedom to access lower cost drugs. host: enough not to support this legislation in the end? guest: well, we're doing this a piece at a time. i'm going to, today, try to steer this through the senate. i offered it seven days ago. today i think maybe we'll get a vote. beeel see if there's enough people that will stand with me in support of the people of this country to be able to afford and purchase these drugs at a fair price. i don't have a beef with the pharmaceutical country i have a problem that they charge more to the american people. host: how does it work? guest: well, they charge the highest prices to the american people because they can't do it to anybody else. if you're in jeryl any and want to buy a prescription from spain, no problem. it's called parallel trading.
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yet we're told we can't do it. europe can do it but we can't? we don't have the capability to make that work? that doesn't make any sense to me. the pharmaceutical company says to the american people if we can't charge you the highest prices in the world we'll do less research. how about cutting off some of the advertisements. every day we see go ask your doctor this or that. go ask your doctor if the purple pill is right for you. these are encouragingtous ask someone if we can take more drugs. how about knocking some of that of off and doing more research. caller: good morning senator dorgan, i haven't been a volunteer lobbyist on the hill for about 30 years. it's obvious to me that sometimes our issues have come up that the american people overwhelmingly vote for a
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showing in polls that they are opposed to -- and it's like we have a renegade congress that goes right over our heads, and the other issue, another kind of drug that i think we've got to get out of our country and schools or we will never have any success in manufacturing and congressman barney franks now has two bills that will legalize drugs. i've heard him speak on the issue. he's got no understanding on it. it's the biggest myth or untrue that's ever been perpetrated on the american people. we've challenged hill to a debate on two occasions and he refuses to meet with us saying publicly he doesn't even know what marijuana looks like. it's now coming closer than ever and i hope you and everyone on the hill will pull on his ear a little bit and tell him he's going down the wrong track.
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guest: well, i'm not familiar with his amendment and i don't think any of that would be -- let me mention the woman talked about manufacturing. i listen ad little to the previous seg appellant and your guest was absolutely right. you don't long remain a world economic power unless you've got a first-class manufacturing capability, and that's dissipating in this country. we're on health care. i think the far more important issue is restarting the economic engine and putting it to work. host: an effort you're in charge of? guest: and senator disturben and i are working in the senate because the federal government doesn't create jobs but it creates the seed bed in which jobs can grow with risk takers and companies and entrepreneurs out there that want to hire people and i think it's critically important having been through the steepest
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decline since the great depression, we've got to work to get this economic engine restarted and put back to work. host: what will be in this? when it comes to manufacturing what provisions are you looking at? guest: well we're still looking at that. we have to have coordinate with the house and the white house. there will be some infrastructure building bridges and roads and puts people on payroll and creates credits for the -- assets for the country. but i think wage tax credits could be -- there are a series of things that say to the entrepreneur ready to hire here's an incentive to do that and we need to find credit for small and medium-sized businesses who want to expand but can't find the credit to do so. host: you're a big deficit person, how do you bring down
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the deficit and create more by spending? guest: well in a steep decline you have to be careful because government help is can help lift you off. but we're in debt we've develop off to fight wars by sending young men and women to war and not be willing to fay for it. we've got to find a way to face this deficit. host: tom, good morning. caller: senator dorgan, one of the questions i'd like to ask today is not just a matter of the pharmaceutical industry but p.b.m.'s. i recently put out an r.f.p. for an organization and we looked from the top to the bottom bidder, it was a $49 million spread. we then hired a direct fee and gave us the full pay of not
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just a large form layer but also genetic center not used, and we kept our cost to five years, $2 per member per month increase. i can tell you there are other ways of saving money, not just a manner of the drug companies themselves and some. guest: i understand this point in fact i've been involved in raising some questions about that very issue. in fact the pb m's have grown so large and have had relationships come in a way that doesn't offer my thought of a free market or such host: john on the independent line, is that right? caller: senator dorgan, first of all, i'm kind of nervous talking. i'm a big fan of yours and russ feingold and such. i used to be a democrat but
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with clinton i couldn't do that anymore. the 2008 election proves nothing except we have unitary rule in this country. and what i'm going to ask you is the same thing i asked my representatives would you please get out of the democratic party never going anywhere. it's all about a corporation as republicans are. president obama used like george fish. you never get anywhere unless you start a second party. guest: well, i've had my disappointments with my political party as i'm sure almost everyone does, but it's a great political party. i'm proud to be a democrat. i'm a progressive fairly independent-minded but when you look at the things that have made a big, big dinse, women's rights, civil rights, who is it that led the way to provide health care to senior citizens around create a medicare
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program? there are so many things that are important in what we have done and one final point if you have taken a look at the last 12 presidencies, the rate of economic growth has always been higher under a democratic administration. the policies that allow and create jobbeds. it deprose. but this party is not perfect and i have my disappointments with it but i'm proud to be a democrat. host: leadership position, democratic call cuss held an emergency meeting and here's the headline. this morning in one of the papers, "usa today" democratics may drop the latest buyin. >> it was never in let alone taken out. this is one of those circumstances where in recent days and weeks there are things back and forth kind of ricochetting like a ping-pong ball but there's an effort to try to get to the end of a
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process by which you have when it's over what we have. host: where do you come down on expanding medicare? guest: generally speaking it's not the sort of thing you do by projecting. if it's worthy of doing, and i don't know whether it is or not, you create an intellectual frame work for it. those who are currently on medicare. what will the costs be? i don't think that's what you can do in two days or two weeks. i think this is a biger issue than that. host: well if the thoughts are more getting away from medicare, what are your thoughts to this replacing it with a public option? guest: well, there's still a lot of work to be done to evaluate what can be done to provide competition in the insurance markets. i come from a state where one
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company writes 90% of the policies in my state. offering people differentiation of policies i think competition is always better. so what can we do that promote that is? host: on the republican line, good morning. caller: good morning, senator. guest: good morning. caller: i have occasion to watch c-span almost every day and you're one of the democrats i really approve of. i have had occasions to watch hearings where they talk about the imported drugs from metroplex dough and dangers of those importations. but the thing that concerns me more about health care is the fact that we will spend billions of dollars going to war and the congress and the senate will pass any amount of money and we cannot afford health care for our country. it is absolutely appalling.
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you know when david walker talked about the pentagon and when he talked about their budget or their whatever, cannot even be deciphered i think that's where we have to start. we spend entirely too much money on war and bombs and all those kinds of things and neglect our own people. thank you, very much for listening. guest: thank you. i've done 20 hearings on the subject of waste in the pentagon budget. particularly through contracting. as you know particularly in the wars in afghanistan and iraq. we're doing a lot of contracting with companies a, and i think it's the biggest amount of waste, fraud and abuse in this country. all the hearings i've done are on the democratic policy website. it's just unbelievable. and it makes you angry when you see what has been done. and i -- what i have been pushing for as you know unsuccessfully so far is the creation of what was previously
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the trueman committee. at the start of the second world war overspending in the pentagon and this commee created about $15 tpwhl saviorings where a $15,000 select committee. i think it's really important that we do that. host: the f.d.a. >> guest: i'm sorry to interrupt you. no one'sal suggesting we i mean 30r9 anything from mexico. the amendment i'm pushing talks about reimportation from countries that have the identical chain custody than i do. every drug would have to have a pedigree that you can track back. batch lot numbers, tracers. none of that exists under the safety drug -- host: the fda sent a letter to you and others saying your
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amendment raises safety concerns. it says the white house is attempting to strike balance, expressing aprofessional 06 these ideas to allow the imports while bowing to safety concerns. what if they -- i spoke to -- guest: i said it could have come from a copying machine several years ago. think i the letter was prompted by somebody else to send to capitol hill because they were worried that in my amendment passes it's the lead the on a cheap suit that the arm falls off. they are worried that whatever deal someone made with the pharmaceutical company will not stick if $100 billion is taken out of pharmaceutical rev neuse. we're talking about over $3 trillion takeover next three years by overcharging the
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american people with being tauppingd about? guest: no. not at all. the letter, and by the way, this same type of letter was sent when tomi thompson was head of hhs, and he said with that letter i can't possibly certify the safety of the drug supply, but after tomi thompson left office, he walked out of the elevator and said dorgan, let me tell you something, you're right about importation. he ecouldn't say that working with the previous session but every white house has -- this is the strength and the clout and the muscle of the pharmaceutical industry. my hope is when we have a vote today perhaps the american
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people will have some representation. major: what time is the vote? guest: today and i will have an hour, and i'm going to talk about all these things it's an outrage if at the lasten any particular time rug is pulled out on our -- host: sumpter, south carolina, go ahead. caller: hello. i want you to know that i agree with you and there's a chance your amendment gets put in the bill. i've got my mother. she lives with me. i'm a caregiver. she's 84 and on medicare. it's not been bad. i'm not totally displace pleased with medicare, also i have two college students them or so that will -- that's
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fallen away also and i'm definitely for some small public option. it feels like right now the democrats are just getting beat up by the republicans. it's like the cleveland browns beating pittsburgh. what's happening? guest: i didn't watch that game, apparently i should have. you know, this is the old saying about watching sausage getting made and laws, neither is very easy on the stomach. but they are spending money. it'sen believable. on north dakota on television since september 1 there's been nearly $2 million spent on television advertising in opposition. and it's the insurance industry and chamber of commerce and so that's what's happening.
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there's a lot at stake and a lot of people are weighing in on adepressive ways. god bless you for taking care of your mother. that's the lord's work and i bet your mother appreciates the opportunity to have you there. host: terry on the independent line. caller: good morning senator dorgan. i can't understand why we are allowing someone like senator joe lieberman to disrupt any type of reform we have for health care here in america. this is obscene. this is absolutely obscene, and that man should really be impeached. i mean, here's a person, and do you know they have not public options but feeble care. why sits in the desking to my
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right. so he's right next me in the united states senate. one might agree or disagree with joe, and i know he evokes very strong reaction from -- i was listening in on the way into the studio. he's a very good american in my judgment. he feels it an wide range of issues. he's a member of the united states senate and has the right to have strong feelings about every issue, and joe does. but let me finish, i know this was our last caller. but i think c-span does a great job. and i know you're tired of hearing that but it's so true. in the middle of so much debate that it is often less informative than more and thoughtless as opposed to being stum up there. but this is a great service to
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the american people. host: and one thing we were want to provide for our viewers is information. can you tell our viewers in this bill you're underlying now, what in this bill will bring down the costs of health care? that's one of the central shufments so what are some of the provisions in this bill that will drive down the cost of health care? guest: there's establish ments of pilot programs and the delivery 06 health care in many, many different areas. and the hope is that a number of those will be seen as much bs much more effective and efficient and therefore reduce the cost of health care. bringing costs under control is not the easiest thing in the world. if it had been easy it would have been done a long time ago. but testimony amendment i am offering is demonstratively bring down $1 billion in 10
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years. that's the score. so i would say to my leagues, after this amendment to the bill, you really will say to the american people you ever going to be able to pay fair prices and not multiples of what everybody else in the world is paying. host: senator byron dorgan, we hope you come back and talk to us. we appreciate your time. coming up next we're going to talk to barbra erin rush, bright we'll talk to her about the latest economic impact we'll be right back.
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>> follow every minute of the debate on the senate floor with late nights and possibly another weekend session live on our come pan jan network, c-span 2. the only network to cover this gavel-to-gavel and get update it's from the reporters and from the reporter roll call group. for more including archive video go to c-span health care hub. now available, c-span's abraham lincoln. great american historians on our 16th president. a perfect gift for the higs buff in your life. from 56 scholars and journalists and writers from his early years to the life in the white house and his relevance today. the to thereon anytime. available where digital audio
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downloads are sold. learn more at book. >> "washington journal" continues. host: barbra let's talk aboutt the recession today and it's -- and its impact on the lower and middle class. your book is called "nickel and dime." if you were to take care of a family could you find -- guest: i did the work at a time of very low unemployment. now you know, now you can't just walk in off the street and fill out an application form and expect to be offered a job every now and then. it just doesn't happen and the word i'm getting is some people who have been for a long time in the low-wage job market.
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now you go down to get a job say at best buy or something -- they are you'll be competing with people with masters degrees who want the same job. no way you could do that today. host: how are lower and middle class americans liveing in this recession? guest: it's not a pretty picture. i have been in the last months trying to figure out ways people find of coping or maybe not so constructively responding, an there are all kinds of things. there are higher rates of suicide. people saying i can't do anymore. i can't pay my bills. but we need more hard numbers on that. here's an interesting thing. at first i thought it was so
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bizarre i wasn't even going to write about it. but more urban hunting. people -- i have sbrufte people who eat squirls. and raccoons that they shoot in their own yards. more suburban, really urban. but that's a new thing going for things much smaller than deer to eat. the big thing is is you give up on medical care. it's not even a possibility. you can't fill prescriptions if you were to be able to afford the doctor's visit, so what's the point? and obviously that means for a lot of people with chronic conditions like high blood pressure, they are really going to have a much more serious problem than they would have had if they could have just kept up with their pills. the other way of coping is moving more and more people into the same space.
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really crowding people in. i know of apartment complexes in virginia where there could be two families in a two-bedroom apartment. and that's increasingly common. host: another thing the front page story the death and trauma of joblessness in the united states. emotional havoc wreaked. these people were poor before the recession started. is this really a recession to them or something deeper than that? guest: well it's interesting, because some of the people i've talked to are like what recession? we've always been in a depression. and if you look back at my book "nickel and dime" that was completed in 2000. and that was the height of
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prosperity really in this country. that was a peak. so all the conditions i described for low-wage workers, those were the best of times and they with respect very good. now, it's just that much worse. so people, you know, there are more and more people who will also say yeah, this is different. before i had two or three jobs and i could have put it together. now i only have one of those jobs and i can't pay the rent. host: you wrote that it's knocking the working poor from low wage employment and comfortable people have long imagine that had in this country, it goes on to say that the current recession -- that american poverty is far more luxurious than the third world variety but the difference is rapidly narrowing. can you explain this?
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>> yes. i think that's something we like to reassure ourselves by saying well, nothing -- the being poor in america is nothing like being poor somewhere in the third world. but we are hitting world class poverty kinds of levels when you have homelessness that is puts you on par with people on the streets of calcutta or many other places in the world. when you have people crowding unsafely into apartments with not enough sleeping room for everybody. that's like world class levels of the poverty experience. no medical care. you know, we are, i mean i hate to say it. we're getting up there in terms or down there in terms of the degree of misery poverty brings. host: we're talking to barbra
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ehrenreich the author of nickel and dimed" and other books. shiella on the democrat line, you're here? caller: the lady you've got on there. she's right on. i have a medical condition, a couple of them that lost me my job. and my health care and benefits and everything else. and right now i've got something going on and if i go to the doctor's, she's going to want tests. i might be able to get up at $70 for the charge for the office call, and i might be able to get the money for the test but then what do i do? so i just forget it. i'm not going to go there.
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despite the effect, why do it when there's nothing you can do about it afterwards. host: shiella, where else are you cutting back? caller: oh, just everything. fortunately, i have a part-time job that is helping me out, and my church is helping me out. but when the company i was working for -- i couldn't do the job anymore, and asked to be switched to something else. and they said yes, we will switch you over there but we will not give you 30 hours a week so that you can maintain your health insurance. host: barbra, your thoughts?
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guest: huh. oh, this is a terrible story. unfortunately, i've heard a lot like it. that combination 06 job problems and medical problems. people losing jobs because of a health problem. i mean, you know, most americans don't have any guaranteed sick days. you stay out of work because you're sick or you're child is sick, that could be the end of a job for you. now you've got no health insurance if you ever had it at all and the bills are piling up and piling up and piling up. so these two things, the medical problems and the job problems just start reenforcing each other. >> next on the republican line, you're on. caller: a few years ago i went to a book discussion on --
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host: we're here. caller: i went to a book discussion a few years ago at a library on "nickel and dimed" and it was an affluent group, and they cared nothing about the workers, what they were really excited about was the part quoted in your book about playing the toilet and playing the sink, and all they were saying was that boy, we're going to have to keep a close look at our maids, and i said to myself, it looks like we got another jungle like upon the and sinclair a book written looking for worker's rights but ends up people concerned about the food they are eating, could care less about the workers. guest: sorry to hear that. i certainly didn't write the book so people would have better ways to spy on their cleaning person, if any.
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no. i would have to say to balance that out a little bit. i get a lot of feedback from people who are relatively affluent saying that they now notice the people around them that are doing so much of the work that makes their lives possible. you know, it's possible to just go to work and not realize that somebody clean that had office at night and that she's not paid very well. to open your takeout food from wherever and not realize somebody had to chop it all up and make that salad. it takes a new level of imagination to think of all of those people involved until your support really making your clothes, whatever. as human beings. with dreams and disappointments and all kinds of things. host: what are your thoughts on the health debates happening here on capitol hill? and there was a public option and now there's not and they
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talked about expanding medicare and now it looks as if they will not put that in the bill. where do you think this debate should be going? >> well, i would have been right from the start i would have liked to see a single pair option. we all just get this and think our wallets and you can get all the medical care you need for whatever doctor you want or hospital. that is what it seems to me. that should have been the starting point and then compromise from there. i can't believe we started with a fairly weak public option, option. and then that's being shipped away, too. i can almost not bear to follow this debate. host: phoenix, arizona, p.j. on the independent line. caller: i would like to ask host: go ahead. caller: first of all, i would
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like to say i enjoy your program very much. and your guest, i think she is describing in part of global economy fallout. i have been in the nursing career for 30 years. i loved my job. i was what you called a career nurse. what i am noticing particularly in the southwest of mayor akay, a lot of the nursing jobs, we have great-trained educated jobs are being given away to foreign immigrants. i have personally observed this. a lot 06 these i mean deprants that are coming and taking our american nurse jobs do not have the same high training and skills. also american nurses are being restricted, again, this is in southwest, restricted as to how many hours they can actually work. would you like to respond to my comments, please. guest: yes. i have one big thought about that which is we are not
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generating enough nurse ins this country, because we don't have the capability of educating them. we don't have enough nurse educateors. nursing is a very crafted profession for many people and aren't just in a slot where you can go to school and get an r.n. anymore. so this represents well, let the philippines educate nurses or whoever and then we'll take them over here but i think we have to really look at the source of the problem. host: did niece on the line? caller: i've been the biggest fan. i loved your book "nickel and dimed." i have two questions for barbra. one is i've never seen a more mean-spiritted time in this country. inflation and saw $800 back in the day. i i've never seen such a
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mean-spiritted time where it seems there's only have's and have nots. the second question is 12-15 years, the hugest criticism of our public education system starting with no child left behind, i'd like to ask barbara what her take is on this because i also teach at college level. i think that sometimes the the more things stay the same the more they differ. kids are kids. some may differ and some may not. but we're constantly being told that our children cannot learn and teachers aren't doing their jobs. the department of labor is where you go to obtain decent employment and i think it's an insidious campaign. they take on unions and the serious stuff but don't fill it with what is happening with the
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families? and i'm very concerned about this lack of any kind of efficacy in this country. and especially her take on the education. i teach on many grade levels. including from high school, to another program and the college level and i'd like to hear what she has to say. host: go ahead. guest: that's a big question. but i am very concerned about what's happening to public education. or education for little kids in general. i think no child left behind has been -- produced an atmosphere that you're just there to memorize a lot of things and pass tests. i think it really zapped children's love of learning. and i've heard from teachers that they hate it. they want to be able to talk about lots of things but they are always teaching to the
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test, and i think that's -- we've made a big mistake. host: larry, you're up on the republican line. caller: this is larry johnson. i'm concerned about the way our country's been run by democratic and republicans. ok? i think that if we can stop the power, because we're supposed to be one nation under god. you went to church and stand up and some lute. we're all one nation under god, how many we can't forget power of to have -- guest: well, i think that it's a very nice idea. i mean, i'm completely with you on that. we have ideas of national unity and patriotism and how we are
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all connected as americans yet the values and ideas are constantly undermined by the glaring inequalities in america. that's just where we are right now. we may want greater unity and aspire to that, but we're being divided between the c.e.o.'s and their tens of millions a year and the people worrying about how to get milk on the table for their kids. host: east paolo aalto, milton, good morning. caller: good morning. i just wanted to say her book was assigned to me in a college class and outside of my field but one of the most important classes i've taken and one of the best books, "nickel and dimed" my dad is a died in the wool news-250eu7 but i loved it and.
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-- i wanted to ask broadly, seems like the protest generation from the 1960 eats has kind of seen its corpse and sometimes the youth get accused for being apathetic for not being in the streets but if we want to identify with your work where would you say is the most important place to start? guest: well, there's many places to start. right now in this recession, the starting point has got to be health for those people who are going down fast. emergencies -- emergency relief even if the government has to general rate those jobs. if the private businesses have trouble then you could have the
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but we've got to start somewhere. it doesn't necessarily mean people running in the streets around protesting. but it certainly means building large constituencies for change that are willing to use their vote to get that change. host: you're part of a -- you started a group called united professionals. it's in a country where we're going to bring together white collar people who are unemployed or anxiously employed. that is a very shaky situation. and we just felt well there aren't millions usually for those people. so mabius we'll have an onenline support and advocate group. which you can find at professionals
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host: and sundaya on the democrat line good morning. caller: good morning. i have a question for bash bash. my -- for barbra. my husband and i both. host: we're listening. caller: i'm sorry. my husband and i both work every day. i drive a school bus and he works in automotive. we have never made $40,000 a year. plus can the american people and people in our situation. we can't afford to take our children to the doctor. what can we do to make things better? guest: well, this is wrong. here you are working as hard as you can and you're remaining in what effectively is poverty. that should not be the case. if you're working you shouldn't be poor. you should be earning enough to live on. up with of the ways we sought to address that. by we, i include myself, but also a lot of people in that situation, church groups,
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through saying the minimum wage has to get higher. you cannot live on $7 and change an hour. too many people are trying to do that. even with two incomes at that level, it just doesn't work. that's simple justice. i don't think anybody would disagree with me on that. host: you wrote about the piece that in fact hourly wage growth which has been running at about 4% a year underwent a dramatic collapse in the last six months alone, the misery at the bottom just keeps piling uplike a bad debt that will evently come due. guest: 25%-30% can barely get by. the price is you willly what kind of place do you want to be
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living in? i don't want to to be living in a place with such extremes even if i'm on the more comfortable end of it because it's a more heartbreaking place and dangerous place and awful lot of wonderful talents and skills are not recognized and don't get a chance to express themselves. host: next phone call comes from mike. caller:'6" a couple -- i have a couple comments. i guess many have never been to a third world country where you can see real poverty. if you go to the even most depressed parts of an american city or rural area, they have cars, running water, plumbing. they have cell phones. they have tv. they've got satellite, cable. you know, when i was laid off i shut off my cable.
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i shut off my phone. i did things that i had to do in order to stay solid. recently here in jacksonville, i don't know if you saw the story that the toys for tots program the marines this year had to basically get i.d.'s from people, because so many people showed up in escalades and very expensive vehicles to pick up toys here that were supposed to go to the needy. and so now they require the people who show up actually with their children to get these, so it's more, you know there's some poor people and yes there are some unfortunate, but there's a lot of people that put themselves in that position, and they don't have their priorities straight. a cell phone is not needed. sat lithe tv is not needed. some of those things they could spend money on food or books or health care for their children.
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guest: well, just one little point a cell phone is needed. fewer and fewer people have land lines. but even if you don't, you're sure not going to get a job. you're not going to find a job. so that's a key thing. i don't know about these people who drive fancy cars to pick up free toys. they should be stopped. i'm sure. but i think you have a -- an overly rosy view of things and maybe haven't been in enough homes of people who are suffering in this recession. seeing the mattresses on the floor, because there aren't enough beds or bedrooms. seeing, you know, the people worrying about what is going to be there for dinner, if anything. and i say those are world class poverty issues. and i have been in india and latin america and many other
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places and seen pretty raw poverty. host: bernie, good morning. caller: beautiful morning. host: what's your question or comment? caller: i'll try to be brief. i have terminal diarya of the mouth. barbara, i read your book "nickel and dimed" and wished i'd thought of it first and agree with you on the single pair program and the education system, i did see you on book notes some time ago talking about your new book "bright-sided." i'm looking forward to the time when you will sit down and write the antithesis of that book. i'm not a positive-thinking preacher. i have a system called attitude control which does in fact make use of conservatively help psychology and really a believer in the fact that it really does help a lot of people.
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when you were writing your book, you visualize that's a concept of self help psychology. i really wish we would teach more about attitude in our schools and colleges because yirled how important psychology would be to my success. i don't have a website yet but i have an email address, beautiful day at and i'd love to see you write something positive in that regard. once again, i agree with you on so many issues but do take exception to your book that down play it is power of positive thinking. host: barbara? guest: yes. the new book is called "brilingt-sided" how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined america. and yeah we probably wouldn't agree too much on methods of
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mood control, but i want to say there's one thing here. we have been talking about poverty and people struggling in this recession, and i hope you will agree with me that poverty is not something you can cure by changing an attitude. i think we've had that theory for a long time in this country. .
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to struggle and people need help. but the congressional majority and the administration has grown big government, thatess
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can lates the -- that escalates the deficit. as a result of this unprecedented government spending spree, our national debt will reach unchartered levels, doubling over the next five years and tripling in just 10 years. not surprisingly as our debt doubles and revenues plunge, creating jobs has taken a backseat to other issues. the $800 billion stimulus bill has failed to create or save the millions of jobs that it promised. since it was passed, in fact, we have actually lost 3.3 million jobs while the unemployment rate remains at 10% nationally and in my home state of florida it has now reached 11%. the question now is, can we still grow our economy, create jobs and help struggling families without further mortgaging our children's
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future? first, we should agree to block any federal tax increases until unemployment drops below 5%. americans of all political persuasions can agree that the government should never raise taxes during periods of high unemployment. second, we need to restore confidence in america's economic future. record deficits and debt combined with runaway spending have shaken our confidence in our economic future. one proposal is to freeze domestic discretionary spending at last year's levels without raising taxes. proponents state that this would save u.s. taxpayers $53 billion immediately. but more importantly, it would send a signal that we are committed to lowering the deficit. third, we need to approve three promising free trade agreements with colombia, south korea and panama that has stalled under this administration.
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recently, the president stated that increasing u.s. exports by just 1% would create over 250,000 jobs. sure enough, the independent international trade commission estimates that these three deals would boost u.s. exports by over 1%. well, i look forward to hearing from the constituents of my congressional district in south florida on how we can bring back economic growth and ensure that america will once again be the land of opportunity that i knew when i first came to this country almost five decades ago. thank you, mr. speaker, for the time and it's time to get our economy back on track. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields the balance of her time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. connelly, is recognized for five minutes. mr. connelly: thank you, mr. speaker. and i'm intrigued to hear my
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good friend from florida talk about deficits as if the republican party when it was in majority and controlling the white house had nothing to do with creating record deficits after inheriting record surpluses. mr. speaker, as we continue in the past economic recovery and as we continue to focus on putting millions of americans back to work, we must reduce long-term deficits, i agree. the actions we have taken to spur economic job growth will be for not if our economic health is in peril by budget deficits. i stand here in favor of a significant tool for deficit reduction, the dedication of unused tarp funds. when first proposed by the previous administration, tarp was a $700 billion program designed to prevent the financial sector from collapse. in its own way, it's had measured success. the banks indicated that the financial sector was in fact stabilizing.
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a number of banks, bank of america and city group, have begun to -- and citigroup, have begun to pay back their tarp funds. it represents hundreds of billions potentially in deficit reduction. in fact, they represent what would be the largest single deficit reduction in american history. as we stand in an economic crossroads, i believe we must seize this prospect and dedicate a significant portion of those remaining tarp funds to deficit reduction. this would build in the actions we already have undertaken to reduce the deficit. in march, congress passed the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2010. that lowers the budget deficit to a third of the current amount within four years. . this sum irthey wanted to reinstitute pay-go legislation. pay-go requires all reductions in revenue or increases in entitlement spending to be offset with other spending cuts or alternative sources of funding. a mechanism the republican congress let expire in 2002.
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yearly deficits unfortunately are not a new phenomenon, in fact starting with fiscal year 1970 we had 28 straight deficits. but congress took action and enacted statutory pay-go in 1990. starting in fiscal year 1998, president clinton resided over four straight budget surpluses. the last time we had that many surpluses in a row was in the 1920's. sustained surpluses is the result of sound economic policy and fiscal responsibility which, quite frankly, had been sorely lacking these last past eight years, mr. speaker. make no mistake, as this congress took office in january, we were hand add deficit that was $1 trillion. how is that possible? how can we go from four straight surpluses with projected future surpluses to an inherited $1 trillion deficit this year? how could record surpluses become record deficits? fiscal irresponsibility.
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the current recession which began in 2007 and accounted for $4 9 billion of the f.y. 2009 deficit was a result of a concerted effort to avoid the reasonable oversight of the financial sector. the risky behavior engaged in by a number of financial institutions was long ignored and in some ways subtly encouraged by a culture of deregulation on the other side of the aisle. the ensuing recession threw millions of americans out of work and exaser baited the deficit -- exacerbated the deficit. it was the hallmark of the bush administration. three of president bush's signature policies, his tax cuts, his prescription drug program, and his decision to start the iraq war resulted in further yearly debt of more than $670 billion. none of these policies were paid for. how could such gross fiscal irresponsibility occur by conservative it occurred in the large part because president
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bush and the republican-controlled congress allowed statutory pay-go to lapse in 2002, perhaps the most intellectually honest budgetary action they took during that time period. what should have come as no surprise to anyone because of that action or lack ever action, budget deficits returned the very next year. by allowing pay-go to die, the republicans were no longer constrained in their spending habits. they coupled reckless behavior with reckless disregard for the consequences and now expect the american people to believe their new-found concern for deficits. where was that concern when we voted this year to reinstitute statutory pay-go? only 24 republicans in this house of representatives voted in favor of returning to fiscal responsibility to the congress. mr. speaker, long-term financial stability depends on the continuance of our fiscal responsibilities. long-term job growth depends upon a stable and growing economy. long-term economic stability depends upon sustainable federal budgets. now, mr. speaker, it's the time
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for the dedication of a significant portion of unused tarp funds for deficit reduction, the american people count on us. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until 10:00 a.m. today.
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child care payments surge and emotional toll of lost jobs, slash pay an uncertain futures appeared to be driving increase and other family problems. what are your thoughts? guest: there is no question. i have seen that kind of thing in my reporting, too. this is a recession where unemployment actually hit man harder than women. and so, a lot of men with child support responsibilities are finding that they cannot do it. if you don't have a job, you don't have the money. that's bad. i think one of the appalling things is we don't have anything like aid for families -- families of dependent children anymore. no way of getting direct help for those kids whose families can no longer support them. host: you wrote about the destruction of the black middle class. not just men, but african- american men. guest: that is a group that has
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really been pounded. african-american men. african-americans worse in general than white americans. what we have seen in this recession is a precipitous, a decline for the black middle- class. first having to do with foreclosures, because there was racial targeting of african americans for the dodgy mortgages so popular in the middle of this decade. that is falling apart. and for reasons not fully understood, more likely to lose jobs and a layoff. host: we will go to your phone calls and get your thoughts and comments. new york, joan on the democrat'' line. caller: here are my thoughts. we used to have the private
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sector and the government and they were kind of separate but now they have become the same thing. and because of -- with all of the elected officials taking campaign contributions and lobbyists paying them off and everything, people were always saying wait until the election comes, we will show the incumbent, we will get them out of their but the only problem is we just get more people in there will also get paid off. it seems to me, the only hope is if somehow business could adopt a different kind of model. this almost brought us down. they probably will bring us down the way they are going. the business could have a different model where they come back to the united states and come up with sustainable non- toxic products and quick ripping off us and other countries, maybe there would be some hope for us. guest: i'm all for that. it would take a lot of pressure.
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look at how the financial business right now is fighting against any kind of increased regulation after what they did to us the last year. it takes pressure, it takes more and more people like you who will raise their voices and say, what is going on here. it seems like business and government are locked in together and have a lock on power. host: one thing you brought up is how expensive it is to be poor. what is it like now bring this economic recession? guest: here is an example. if you are making very little money and you lose your home through foreclosure or maybe you never owned one, but anyway, you don't make enough money to rent an apartment on a monthly basis. so what do you do? you go into a residential motel which will take you in right
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away, you got a roof over your head but then you will be paying on a weekly rate what would be far more than what you would have paid if you could get a month of the rate budget rent, if you could get the first month rent and security deposit to get appeared -- security deposit. or you might have no furniture or microwave oven, so you are stuck with convenience stores as a source of food, which is not only not particularly yummy but it is an expensive way to eat. host: jeffersontown ship, the jurors appeared marlene on the independent mind. -- jefferson township, new jersey. marlene on independent line. caller: in new jersey, community colleges have been nursing courses that are full. as far as that, the government made a decision to bring immigrants in to lower the wages and the lifestyle of american
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citizens. i say that because i just spoke to my daughter. she had so many friends with master's degrees in computers that cannot get jobs and get people with h1b the visas pouring in here. when will the government stand up for american citizens and not immigrants? guest: it is not the government making those hiring decisions. that is private industry -- or nonprofit hospitals, in many cases, that are making the decisions to hire immigrant workers. i really don't know what would be motorboating -- motivating them. that is one thing you can't put on the shoulders of government. host: knoxville, tenn., linda. caller: credit scores as the new scarlet letter.
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in particular, there is a structural systemic change in the way companies screen applicants for better jobs. they used to just resumes, now the computer does and the also with the credit score. not 700 and -- in particular, what happened to me is that it is a recession, you get laid off, payments are becoming late, you get behind in its credit card, this war goes down, down. what you discover is even when times get better you can't even get in the door to get back for the $80,000 a year kind of job you used to have. it is not just private companies that use credit scores. government contractors used credit scores. this is a long term quantitative change. if you fall below the threshold, you will never get back up there
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again. guest: a very good point, i am glad you brought that up. the last number i saw, 43% of employers now due credit checks on people before hiring. what a catch-22 that is? you need a job, you are desperate, you are falling behind in your bills, of course your credit is taking a beating, then you find you can get a job because of that. i think that illustrate a very disturbing pattern in america. when you start sliding downhill in america, it is not so likely that somebody is going to reach out a hand to you, although there is held in the form of food stamps and unemployment insurance, but you will find a lot of people on line to push you down further and faster. such as the people who will not hire you if your credit is bad or the credit card companies, you start using your credit
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cards to much, that is now going to charge you 30% interest and huge late fees. host: 1 last on corporate loss vegas, white on the republican line. -- one last phone call. last vegas, roy on the republican line. caller: the country would not have been in this and less like agencies that we already have in place, secured and exchange commission, a government accounting office, if they had done their job, do you think we would still be in this mess and have all of these off-balance sheet things that went on from -- four years and years, the fox in the henhouse? guest: certainly there are some areas like gross negligence. what about the rating agencies supposed to determine the credit worthiness of various institutions but will -- they will be paid by the institutions?
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the law was ok, the law was in place but people were not doing their work. then we have a lot of cases where the laws were weekend -- weakened, though laws restricting what banks can do. so part of it is getting people to do what they were supposed to do and part of it is we do need tougher laws. host: up next we will ask the leaders -- viewers the most important political figures of this year. guest: the most important? host: who have you been most impressed by? guest: i guess we can get our minds off of our own president, barack obama. host: why is that? guest: he is carrying such a load. the last person i would want to be on earth is him. there is kind of a fascination is how is he making decisions, what is going on, that we all
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have. host: who impressed you the least? guest: i am not going to go there. this is washington. host: barbara ehrenreich, we appreciate your time. joining us on the phone is jim barnes from "national journal." we are basing the question of of their cover story. they did several polls for this week's edition, which senator do you admire the most, which house member, who is the most creative thinker in your party, who is your party's best political strategist and which a voice in your party would you most like to mute? jim barnes joins us on the question of which political figure has impressed you the most this year. president obama wins for congressional insiders and political insiders within the democratic party. what did you find out about why they picked president obama? guest: i think it makes a lot of
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sense. the president just so dominant political life in the country, whether the president is. thinking about this one in particular, the first democrat to win a presidential election since bill clinton got elected in 1996. he is the first democrat to win an absolute majority of the vote since lyndon johnson did that in 1964. and he surely has the most ambitious agenda of of any president in either party probably sense franklin delano roosevelt. those are all aspects that point democrat, saying he is the most impressive political figure this year. host: some may be surprised by that given his polling numbers have declined over the past few months.
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guest: i think the fact he has taken a lot of controversial issues, try to push things in different directions, i think that is one reason why -- the loss of his popularity because he is kind of pushing on all different fronts and certainly there are some voters out there, a lot of republicans, fair number of independents that think he is going to far too fast. but if you are a democrat, you are really hoping you got someone at the head of the party who is pushing a lot of proposals that basically democrats have not had an opportunity to push the lease for the last eight years. host: tell us over the next half hour to the most impressive political figure is this year. let us talk about the runner-up spirit now to close a number two, and secretary of state hillary clinton came out third. what did you find about these two women?
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guest: number one, they are both and pretty powerful positions. being in power is one of the things that attract votes like this. i think with respect to nancy pelosi, the first woman speaker, and i think she is basically delivering on a lot of president obama's agenda. she pushed through health-care reform in the house back in the summer, still stuck in the senate. she did points to producing. i think there is a fair amount of admiration. she impressed people. just a year ago she was campaigning for the top job, the presidency. now she is kind of sublimated her ambitions and little bit to president obama. she is on his team. carrying out her agenda. and i think people look at her determination to be a good team
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player and that depresses them. host: on the republican side, bob mcdonnell wins the bowl for congressional and political insiders. guest: one of the more interesting findings in the survey. here you've got someone who has not offered for past or enacted a big piece of legislation. not talking about a political figure who forced the issue to the forefront of the national consciousness. we are talking about someone who won an off-year election. but what i think republicans are looking for is the future and with bob mcdonnell, it is hair -- where and how he won the election that impresses them, he won it in virginia, a swing state that president obama carried in the presidential election, and he also won it in part by winning the votes of
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independent voters by a margin of 221 over his democrat opponents. democrats are looking at that qana performance as saying, if we could only replicate that in a lot of states and swing congressional districts in midterm elections in 2010, we may go along way getting back into power. so i think it looking at mcdonnell, they see the future, looking at the political formula, the political tricky pulled off in virginia and are hoping they can replicate that. host: a difference of opinion between congressional and political insiders on who is number two. congressional insiders say john boehner and political insiders say sarah palin. guest: i think in the case of that, you've got republican congressional insiders picking one of their own, john boehner, leader of the republican party in the house of representatives.
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he has been a pretty decent leader. has not really screwed anything up yet. i think on the other side, the political insiders, and these are the party consultants, national party chairman, pollsters, and that sort of thing, people who spend a lot of time running the campaigns. i think they look at sarah palin as somebody who just burst on the scene in 2008 as john mccain's running mate, and they see her as someone who, if she wants to be, is probably going to be, could be a force to be reckoned with in 2012 if she seeks the republican presidential nomination. host: james barnes, thank you for your time. now i turn to all of you for your thoughts on the most impressive political figure this year.
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west palm beach, fla., ann on the democrats' line. who do you pick? caller: obama. host: why is that? caller: in the election he brought up how he will put us up to getting a large companies incentives -- get us off giving large companies incentives to send jobs overseas. i am not a politician, what were they thinking when they decided to give these large companies incentives and tax breaks to send the jobs overseas when it was taking jobs from the americans. host: philadelphia, on the republican line, who is the most impressive political figures. senator collins and snow. would you please let me finish? republican congress is acting like democratic congress and a to 85, grover cleveland, ulysses
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grant finra, those one of the greatest heroes in america. host: gary on independent line. caller: lieberman. the only reason why i am saying that, this is a politician, when you think you've got him figured out, he up in full view. he is now holding the whole country hostage because they already dropped the different options off of the bills to ensure they get his vote. you got to go with a guy like joe lieberman. host: referring to the headline in many of the papers, democrats may drop the medicare by in provision, the provision that had been to expand medicare to 55, and it seems this morning the news is they will not conclude that and any sort of final package. st. paul, minnesota. rita on the democrats' line.
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caller: barack obama personally. he is taking on a big mess from the bush and cheney administration and republican politicians want to sit back and pretend like they have had nothing to do with it and republican voters when act like they had nothing to do with it and the american people. this all happened on our watch. we are in a big mess we created for ourselves and the fact of, wants to take it on, that has to be the most impressive political figure because like the previous caller, people like joe lieberman down to all over the place basically on a vengeance mission, not looking out for the best interest of the country. obama definitely is the most impressive political figure. host: republican side. tina, florida. caller: hillary clinton. she has done more than anybody. we've come through far.
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i lived through the 1980's and when it came in the '90s and cleaned up bush's mess, i learned right there how to live and not to trust what was going on. they put us through jobs, they gave as jobs, five. trillion surplus to our country. she had a mess on her hands and cheese but it into gold and she is still there. i respect barack obama for picking her as secretary of state although he made a mistake, he should have announced he was going to do it before hand, a lot more people would have voted for him if he had. host: from the national journal's insiders poll, which cabinet secretary most impressed you appeared at secretary of state hillary clinton wins on the democratic side with both congressional and political insiders. with republicans she comes in first with congressional insiders followed by robert
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gates for political insiders and the republican side. dick on independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i believe president obama is the most impressive political figure on the u.s. landscape at the moment. the reason i say that, here is a man who was going to be president know he had an economy -- knowing he had an economy on the verge of the second great depression. and for him to be elected and to place in his administration the very people who were responsible for the deregulation after so many years that really brought our economy down, and for him to think that, yes, that might make wall street last jittery but to think he could actually turn the system around and effective reform and change which he promised in his campaign is a rather large
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undertaking because to have all of those people was bring in your ear on a day-to-day basis to do this and to do that, and to then try to figure out the right thing to do is a very tall order. it is an impressive undertaking. i wish him well. i hope he can do it, but i don't think he has enough of the independence that joe stiglitz, paul krugman, paul faulkner, i don't think he is listening to them enough but he is listening to summers, tim geithner, rubin camp, he has his son in his administration. i think he is in trouble in this regard unless he wakes up and start listening to the folks who are trying to give him good counsel with regards to turning the economy around. he must fixed trade if he fixes health care.
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we need fair trade, we need to balance our trade so we can afford health care. host: kansas city, missouri. forest on the democratic line. caller: dennis kucinich would be my pick for democrats. anyways, obama has really sold out the democrats -- democratic party. what was our choice? helicopter girl or obama. maybe if ron paul or dentist it did -- and dennis kucinich could get together, that might be a government we could work with. host: westwood, and new jersey. caller: a super game. the two fellows on both intelligent.
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i really wanted to talk to barbara. but president clinton is the most impressive for this reason. his self-fulfilling prophecy that things were terrible came true. he really is the most responsible person for all the trouble we are in. i certainly agree that the fellows. then what he did he brought into power those who created the problem. obama says change, but there was no change. but what i wanted to say to barbara and her book -- all these people, we must change the mindset of our people, by accepting the truth of the first christmas, either jesus came and he is god and he taught us to live and give. we have to give. in other words, st. paul wood said, if a person has two clubs, give one to someone else, the same with food, do what they want. he said to the tax collectors, don't cheat.
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soldiers, don't export. the things we are doing now are precisely what the romans were doing at the time of jesus and he came to tell us to give and to live and to live responsible by loving our enemies. host: and other political news, difficult cycle in 2010 for dems. the fourth centrist democrat in three weeks to announce his retirement, leading his party with another tough to defend seat in next year's elections. gordon is one of 11 democrats to announce it will not run for reelection. on the republican side, 12 house members are returning -- retiring or running for another office, such as delaware's mike castle, who has announced his bid for the senate seat long held by vice president biden. analysts are saying seven of the democratic open seats as potentially changing parties as opposed to three republican open
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seats. florida city, john on the independent line. the most impressive political figure of the year. caller: dennis kucinich and frank are the ones that really speak to the people. personally i think all of our representatives on the hill, if you have a price tag instead of the flag depends, in the unlikely event i will win the lottery i will much i have to pay to get my voice heard in the capital. host: shelton, conn., dave on the independent mind. -- on the independent line. caller: the lakeland. she worked very hard for barack obama. she showed great leadership -- hillary clinton. host: we are listening. caller: she is a team player and she campaign very, very hard for the presidency and i see her running for president in 2012. host: the front page of "the
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chicago tribune." illinois to take detainees. next call is from laura in texas on the republican line. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i have to say it would have to be ron paul, hands down. the reason why i would say this is he is truly for all americans and he is trying to hold the federal reserve accountable. and by doing that -- if we could just tax them we could take care of all of our problems. by doing that he is saying, no, you don't run america, but americans run america. i wish we could get back to that. republicans and democrats are one party. we need a true second party, ron paul. host: the latest on the
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copenhagen conference on climate change. rich nations step up pressure on beijing. developed countries like the united states are pressing china's delegation to submit to independent monitoring and formal targets. the other headline this morning in "the washington post." coordination stalled talks on global warming. they said the walkout may not delay deal. negotiators hope to have an agreement by this friday. bakersfield, calif., -- california. caller: i'm a green, i hate to admit it but i think the most impressive is barney frank. i do not like the man personally but i think he has really got the answers we need to listen to. host: what are the things he is saying? caller: he really understands the shell game that was played with the bundling of securities. he really understands we need
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regulation. free enterprise without regulation is really just piracy. host: ron on the democratic line from pennsylvania. caller: in my view, a tie between al gore and robert kennedy, jr.. primarily because of a lot of the predictions they have been making in the last few years have come true, including robert kennedy, jr., who really drove home how the conservatives have donated -- war had funded institute's and universities and got a few professors to basically be deniers on global warming simply so that the conservatives could say that there was an opposing view on global warming and here we are at copenhagen and this has come true and a big way, people are actually trying to make a cogent
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argument that there is no global warming and humans did not cause it. i see al gore and robert kennedy, jr.. host: many of you probably heard two banks will pay back bailout funds. "usa today" says since congress passed the bailout bill the government handed out $370 billion of the $700,000,000,000.70. but the money came with strings attached, including pay restrictions. banks returning to profitability had paid back $160 billion before monday's announcement that citigroup and wells fargo would pay back their fortunes. citigroup will buy back $20 billion in preferred stock held by the government, financing the purchase and stock in debt. the new york bank giant will end an agreement in which the government guaranteed about $250 billion in shaky assets and the government will sell its 34% stake in citigroup and will continue to hold $5.3 billion in
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preferred stock citigroup issued in compensation for insurance on loan losses. wells fargo plans to repay the government $25 billion after issuing $10.4 billion in stock and selling assets. port orchard, washington, cheryl on the public mind. the most impressive political figure. caller: i would say our president because he is able to convince people unfortunately that he inherited all of this from the last eight years when in fact if more people understood 6 and what has been going on, they watch c-span of the mark, they would know that and 2006 the democrats started making the budget and they were standing law -- spending like crazy. we got rid of the republicans. we voted them out. so we let the democrats take control and this is what we have pared i would have to say -- this is what we have. i would have to say president
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obama and we can thank our ignorance for that. host: thomas from ohio. caller: my voice is for ron paul, a great man, great american. i love c-span. i watch you for my news every day. i don't watch any other news except c-span because they let americans have a voice. i appreciate greta and all the announcers at c-span. they are all good people. again, people need to look at ron paul and listen to what he is saying about the pot will reserve and then they would understand what is going on. host: press got, ariz. -- press got, arizona, the democrat line. caller: obama is right up there but the most important political person is me, you, and everyone calling in. everyone that is listening. that is where obama gets his power from.
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and right now our government is being run by the money people that don't have a country. and obama needs our support, and remember the old saying, evil prevails when good men do nothing. so, people, get together and voice your opinions, call your senators, and take our country back. host: on the supreme court agenda, the national section of "the new york times" says the text message privacy case is accepted by justices. the court will decide whether the police department violated constitutional privacy rights of an employee when they suspected personal text messages sent and received on a government paycheck. it opens a new frontier in fourth amendment jurisprudence according to a three-judge panel that ruled in favor of the employees. brian on the republican line. your thoughts.
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caller: thank you for c-span. i wish more people would watch it. i would say obama, and the reason i say that is i think he just had so many crazy programs and things that people can match the realize that when you vote, you need to vote smartly, voting 1 washington politician for another -- the other governors, people from outside washington coming to washington and texas solve some problems rather than these people, the revolving door. host: mike from the democratic line in kansas city. go ahead, mike. caller: i would say it would have to be ron paul. this is a man of lot of people laugh at. his idea of auditing the federal reserve and really taking a look at our financial institutions, how it is set up and set up for big business and shrinking the american people, small business being choked off alive. the middle middle class and the
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lower middle class are being slaughtered, dumped into poverty. if you look at statistics, people who live in poverty in america are under the level of what people in american consider poverty. it would have to be ron paul. host: sandy ago, independent line. caller: dennis kucinich is not afraid to speak truth to power. he spoke out against the bailout, he has been a major, major opponent against these wars and is not afraid to talk out about the afghanistan war. he is still introducing legislation to stop this war. the federal reserve, i give ron paul credit, he is out there but dennis kucinich is also talking about the federal reserve and how it needs to be repealed. dennis kucinich, he is my man. host: fairfax, va., peter on the republican line. caller: joe lieberman. he is just a real powerful
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voice. he left the democratic party and went independent and was voted in and because they know he is a guy they can count on. i am a republican but i love this guy. i think he stands up for what we the people really want. the only other guy i say is really a pivotal, ron white the comedian, because as this new administration goes, you can't fix stupid. host: baltimore. fully on the democrats' line. caller: president obama. despite that one caller, i think we all just need to come together. because there is a problem with this country as far as the economy. and we are not giving this president a fair chance. he has not been in office this whole year yet and it seems like the far right wing is doing nothing more less than disagreeing with anything.
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not saying one positive thing about president obama. i think we just need to stick together and give him a chance before we try to judge him on not eating a whole year yet. thank you. host: another call from baltimore. sam on the independent line. caller: the support for ron paul and support for dennis kucinich and all of these independent voices starting to be heard around the country. but think the most impressive political figure has to be sarah palin for making the recovery she had from 2008 until now. she took a beating in the election cycle in 2008, and it seems like us people in this country have a short memory -- host: allentown, pennsylvania. caller: barack obama came through allentown, all the
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places that i go to and it seems like he is trying to help us. my friend chris is in the army here in pennsylvania and he is leaving today for afghanistan and want to give a shout out to maine airforce engine. he is gone to afghanistan, please look out for chris peters, a soldier going to afghanistan. protect him, get up there with my planes and help him. host: chester, west virginia, louis on the line for democrats. caller: i think dennis kucinich, and the senator from west virginia robert byrd, they voted against the war in afghanistan. time and time again they stand up. i think the two inspired me the most this year. thank you c-span for all you do for us every day on tv. host: an independent line from greensboro, north carolina.
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caller: hello, greta, hello, c- span. harry reid and nancy pelosi because of the fact that harry reid virtually was nullified during the bush administration and now no one is paying attention -- the new dog, harry reid right in the middle. he is so impressive -- i think he should get credit for that. i think he is the most impressive. have a big christmas. host: springfield, ohio, betti on the republican line. caller: now is the time for mr. john boehner, a patriot, he is the one we follow and listen to. host: thank you for all of your calls. in the house of representatives will begin its legislative business.


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